I was having breakfast this morning with a friend and experienced entrepreneur who recently sold his company. He told me one of the big lessons he’s taking from his most recent experience is that success comes relatively quickly. At first this sounds at odds with my recent quoting of this post from Chris Dixon which talks about the myth of the overnight success, but I think it actually supports it.
My friend has learned that once you find something that clicks, it will take off relatively quickly. He described it as adjusting a magnifying glass in the sun. You often have to try the magnifying glass from many angles to find the right one, but when you do find that spot, it’s incredibly powerful. This perspective clicked for me. He’s basically saying you shouldn’t be spending your time trying to force something to work, but instead spend your time working on focusing the mangifying glass. That is to say, set some feedback loop system and schedule, define the “sun in focus” moment, and go to work making adjustments into you’re in focus. When you’ve got the feedback to know that angle is not working, you go to another, and another. Don’t ever assume one angle is the right one, the one you must make work. There’s another way, and it may be a tweak away from what you’re doing. It may take many attempts, it may take a long time, but when it clicks it will really click…and with that “success comes quickly.”